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Theater/Drama Colleges "Part 9"

desperatescholardesperatescholar Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2007 in Theater/Drama Majors
NOTE FROM COLLEGEMOM:
THE THEATER/DRAMA COLLEGE THREAD WAS GETTING LONG SO HERE IS OUR NEW PART 9. HERE IS THE LINK TO THE LAST PART WHERE WE LEFT OFF (PART 8):
http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=63432&page=1&pp=15

OUR PART 9 STARTS OFF WITH A DISCUSSION STARTED BY DESPERATESCHOLAR WHO ASKS ABOUT TOP THEATER SCHOOLS. FEEL FREE TO TAKE THE THEATER COLLEGE THREAD INTO ANY DIRECTION YOU'D LIKE. ALL POSTS/QUESTIONS ARE WELCOMED.

_______________________________________________________

DESPERATE SCHOLAR'S POST:

Just curious...

In your opinion, what do you think the top 10 theatre schools in the US are?
Post edited by desperatescholar on
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Replies to: Theater/Drama Colleges "Part 9"

  • wctwct Posts: 425Registered User Member
    I would put CMU in the top 5.

    When you say theater do you mean acting and MT or just one or the other? What is your criteria?

    Juilliard would be in the top 5 too for acting.
  • taxguytaxguy Posts: 6,525Registered User Senior Member
    How about Yale, CMU, NYU,UCLA?
  • fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman Posts: 801Registered User Member
    There are no reliable rankings for undergraduate theatre schools and things become very murky when you start combining the different degree types and whatnot. For instance, there is a whole different pecking order between the straight acting and musical theatre BFAs. You also have to look at the BA programs that have a totally different philosophy about how a young actor should be developed. Then, there's an entirely different world when you start looking at the Design/Tech, Directing, Stage Management, Dramatic Writing, and Dramaturgy programs which I'm personally clueless about. Beyond that, some might argue that certain schools that are generally considered "top" are really coasting on past glories and there are some newer and/or lesser-known programs that are now graduating better trained/educated actors. This doesn't even begin to approach the subjective "fit" for individual students since some programs differ radically from others in their approach. Ten is also an arbitrary and unfair number to rank by because there are small groups generally considered at the very top with another group of twenty or more that might legitimately claim a spot in the "top 10" for different reasons. You'll find that many will make such a claim when you visit! LOL However, from what I can tell from my little place in the world, the most respected degrees in each category (in no scientific order) might be ...

    BFA Acting
    Juilliard
    Carnegie Mellon
    North Carolina School of the Arts
    SUNY Purchase
    Boston University
    NYU/Tisch School of the Arts (Debatable since they have six primary acting studios that supposedly vary in quality with each being as big or bigger than an entire department at the rest of the schools.)

    Musical Theatre
    University of Cincinnati Conservatory
    Carnegie Mellon
    University of Michigan
    NYU/Tisch CAP21 studio
    NYU/Steinhardt
    Oklahoma City University
    Boston Conservatory

    BA Drama
    UCLA
    Brown
    Vassar
    Northwestern

    Yale's Masters program is no doubt one of the top MFAs, but their undergraduate drama program is still too new to consider "top" though I'm sure they'll be "up there" over time.

    Others that are definitely on the radar when thinking about top theatre schools of differing types would be:
    SMU
    Cal Arts
    USC
    U. Minnesota Guthrie Program
    DePaul
    U. Evansville
    Emerson
    Ithaca
    Otterbein
    Rutgers
    Florida State
    U. Cincinnati Drama
    Penn State
    Syracuse
    Elon
    Webster
    Cornell
    Middlebury
    Sarah Lawrence
    Brandeis
    Muhlenberg
    Fordham
    Cal State Fullerton
    UNC Chapel Hill
    Indiana University
    U. Arizona

    ... and I'm sure there are more!
  • hayhaydenhayhayden Posts: 101Registered User Junior Member
    "Yale's Masters program is no doubt one of the top MFAs, but their undergraduate drama program is still too new to consider "top" though I'm sure they'll be "up there" over time."

    Yale School of Drama is undoubtedly the top MFA Drama program in the country. They have no undergraduate theatre program; rather, there is a BA Theatre Studies program which is located in Yale College's Dept. of English.
  • fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman Posts: 801Registered User Member
    The MFAs at Tisch, UC San Diego, and American Conservatory Theatre might argue with you about that, but Yale sure is good! ;) So, the Yale undergraduate Theatre Studies doesn't even have it's own department? I thought they started up a new program in the past two years for some reason. Is the one under the English Department new? Maybe that's what I was thinking about.
  • hayhaydenhayhayden Posts: 101Registered User Junior Member
    The Undergraduate Theatre Studies program at Yale College is not new. But it is that, a theatre studies program, and in no way does it attempt to describe itself as a "training program" like the School of Drama at Yale is. It is a survey in theatre lit, crit, history, performance, and pedagogy, in addition to the other cross-curricular requirements of Yale College. Because undergraduate instruction at the Ivy League Schools is based in firm liberal arts education, you won't find any undergrad conservatory/training/BFA theatre programs at the Ivies.
  • fishbowlfreshmanfishbowlfreshman Posts: 801Registered User Member
    I think I read that it was new somewhere on the Theatre/Drama Colleges thread, but I don't have time to go back and look that up right now. It could well be bad information, but I do wonder why we haven't heard more about Yale's undergraduate Theatre Studies. It does appear that they have their own department separate from the English Department. They at least have their own webpage. Here it is. Here, also, is a list of all their departments and programs with Theatre Studies listed separately from English. It does, however, look like some of their professors hold spots in both English and Theatre Studies. At any rate ... Yeah ... It is a BA and not a professional training program which is why I initially mentioned it after the other BAs. :)
  • alfstein1987alfstein1987 Posts: 13Registered User New Member
    I'd rank Minnesota in the top five for BFA acting

    my girlfriend was accepted to Juilliard but only waitlisted for Minnesota

    They have a new program that is teamed up with the Guthrie Theatre (a top five regional theatre in the US) to train young new actors
  • wandergirlwandergirl Posts: 50Registered User Junior Member
    I would rank Guthrie and DePaul in the top for BFA acting (maybe thats just midwest pride?) as well and probably move Purchase down since half their faculty is @ Rutgers now.
  • documenterdocumenter Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    We're in the final stages of choosing. Accepted into BFA Suny Purchase and BFA Emerson and BFA Hartt School. Thoughts?
  • desperatescholardesperatescholar Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
    Emerson has the both of best worlds: great theatre training within a good liberal arts education. Plus, you've got Boston.
  • wctwct Posts: 425Registered User Member
    A colleague of mine, (she is a drama teacher) has a sister at Emerson for BFA acting and she loves it. Suny is known to have a good program with many grads working in the field.
  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Posts: 4,090Registered User Senior Member
    From what I have been able to gather (on this list and out in the real world! :)), Purchase has the most "prestige" of the three programs you mention for straight acting. However, if you were my child, I would not have you choose a program based on prestige alone. I would want you to choose based on fit, as in "how well does the offered program fit into what you see yourself studying and doing?" I also would want my child to visit each campus/school and sit in (if possible) on classes, as well as be able to talk to current students. That info, combined with the inevitable "gut feeling" you will get will tell you what is the right decision for you.
  • documenterdocumenter Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    Thanks for considering the question. I was hoping to hear from someone who is actually in either Emerson's or Purchase's program for acting or who could speak to the question by knowing someone well who is there. I know the advantages/disadvantages of the locales. I also like both programs which is why it is difficult. Looking forward, which school is the best connected in professional circles? Not like there are any guarantees in this field or in any aspect of life !!!
  • wctwct Posts: 425Registered User Member
    documenter-

    I will aks my colleague if I can pass on her sister's email address to you so you can talk to her about Emerson.
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